The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari says it’s unsustainable for only two million taxpayers to carry the tax burden of the over 30 million Ghanaian population.
Even though there are over 16 million users of the various mobile money platforms indicating financial activity for which taxes should be filed, just about two million are paying direct taxes.
The situation results in a 12% tax revenue to GDP ratio, as compared to an African average tax to GDP ratio of 17%.
Addressing a public lecture organised by the University of Ghana Business School on the theme, “Re-Thinking Development Finance: Macroeconomic Management When The Love is Gone”, Dr. Opoku-Afari said Ghana will not be able to fund its development goals with such a tax system.
Dr. Opoku Afari called for an expansion of the tax net through the establishment of a simple tax filing system to incorporate all eligible taxpayers in order to “increase tax revenues while reducing the per-capita tax burden”.
The deputy central bank boss also said the property tax system which currently yields 0.5% of Ghana’s GDP is unacceptable and should be relooked.
He also called for the efficient use of public funds to boost the public’s compliance with tax obligations.